Hello, Infixo! I would like to say a big Thanks for all additional gameplay mods that you are created. All of them have many organic gameplay ideas and when I tried them for a first time - then I use almost all constantly. Especially I like Real Tech Tree, Real Science Pace. And other Real mods too. Several months ago I have planned to translate Real Eurekas in Russian for the Russian steam community and almost done that, but then I found out about the Gathering Storm (and I'm very exited about it) and so I decided to wait to translate the updated version. That was a lot of textwork to translate RE correctly and beatifully with immersive humour and gueslines proverbs.
What should I say about Real Strategy? I decide to discript fairly my last gaming experience. I've played one complete game with Real Strategy (ver 0.7). Played on the Emperor difficulty. Some of the Civfanatics members would say that's not hard enough for a REAL CIV EXPERIENCE, but I'm always playing on that difficulty because I don't like when AI gets too much unfair bonuses. Personally I would prefer the game where AI don't get any bonuses at all but plays very smart. That's why I'm trying to find optimal difficulty mod since 2017. At least when devs teach the AI to act smarter in combat, then I'll find that satisfyingly. Even with Ai + (Which one I use more than a year, but I don't play in civ very often, have another games too...in different genras) computer don't know how to position troops correctly. And some times the decisions is soo stupid, that I would like a have a real pity to him. In 2019 AI in Civ should be smarter. I don't feel the progress in this area of game development. I know that only one person was responsible for AI in Civ Development team and that's not enough. These should be at least five or seven men. I do have a positive smart AI experience in some other games (some of them are Sony exclusives where developers do care about ai....one of them - its just one example of a smart, really smart Ai in a FPS genre was a Killzone 2 in PS3 era). I understand that in global TBS making a good Ai is a complicated task but they should enhance it and exceed their borders. Now I'm not going to compare the behavior of artificial intelligence with the behavior in previous Civ games, but I should say that in Civilization IV (in that times...and I'm still love Civ IV) I'll never wanted a better aI mod...but the AI also gets the unfair bonuses there and the unit placing system was different. So for that time (14 years ago) that was normal, but now we need changes, we need evolution, not just only multiplayer orientation, but a good AI behavior. Rules of the game has changed and so the Ai should become more intelligent in using various game mechanichs, placing districcts correctly. Sometimes the AI placed harbor adjacent to a war camp. Where is the sense of it? Why not the near the commercial hub? I'm very like the idea of districts, they make the Civ VI a different from its predecessors. So that was my thoughts about all intelligent problems - weak unit position, sometimes weak district management and on the top - the unfair bonuses that will drive the AI ahead of you no matter how awful he plays. That's what the base game would have to offer. The Ai+ changes the situation in some right directions, but when you play - you encounter so many events and mechanics so you can't really say what exactly the mod author has changed and improved and what was from the base game.
Now close to the deal. What should I've noticed when played with Real Strategy. Emperor difficulty, played as Russia. I've decided to achieve a Religious victory. Unlike the Ai+ the computer gets the unfair bonuses but that was discribed in Mod discription so I was prepared for that. As I played peacefully, spreading my Religion, I had the opportunity to watch the AI behavior. In the earlier eras the are indeed was less wars, especially when you are yourself play nice and don't give the AI additional reasons to hate you (warmongering is a very controversial system for my opinion and it still needs additional tuning). My neighbours on the continent was Indonesia and Sumeria. And what should I say - good neighbours. Spread religion and then made them friends and allies for the end of the game. Gilgamesh like alliances. In score they were average. Maybe because I've settled more lands on the continent, but they have they space too. In other continents I've met other civilizations. In earlier eras some City-States was concured by them. Gorgo of Sparta is trying to protect them (maybe because she had secondary unique goal in this particular game). In the Medieval era some other civilizations (Scotland, Cree, Grece) had fly away forward in science by the unfair bonuses. Poundmaker couldn't produce too much science from his territory. I don't know what Cree smoke in their vigvams... Even Gilgamesh which one have built his Ziggurats like crazy couldn't smoke frome them too much science.
Interesting thing - Gilgamesh doesn't built Campuses. He collects Science from Ziqqurats. That's interisting strategy, but Isau (author of the Quo's Combined tweaks) doesn't like this and made Ziqqurats limited to the city. Important note - I've played withoud Quo's Combined tweaks. That's interesting mod, I've even translated its older version in Russian, but Isau updates it too many times so my translation is getting too old right now. And it's changes so many things, some of them are very controversial, but at least Isau allows users to tweak them in options file. In this particular game Poundmaker had a secret trait "Obsessed with Science". So he receives science bonuses... Robert Bruce of Scotland go far forward in science too. In this game I made as much alliences as possible to prevent Cree to attacking me through the sea. Wars started from Renaissance Era. Many Ai Civs even in 1500's entered in the New time. With Ai+ I've never experienced this fast science jump. In science I was in the second echelon. But in culture and Religion I can compete with others and at that time on the score I was in the first positions. Cree wars against India and conquered some of its cities. India attacks Egypt and conquered several cities.Egypt was a backward country in terms of technology. Norway was conquered by Robert Bruce of Scotland. Robert Bruce was close to Science victory, but Poundmaker and I began Spy diversions in his Cosmoports to destroy projects. I learn interesting thing about espionage - two spies from the different countries actually can work in the one district of the third civilization, and if one failed, the other spy may succeed. Ai uses spies wisely. Maybe in Ai+ it uses spies good too but there I'm also see good effect. On another continent Gorgo wage war against Trajan of Rome. Rome lagged behind technology in Greece, but fought bravely. Later, I sold oil to Traian to equalize his chances against Greek tanks. They fought until the end of the game. And at that time I was spreading religion. What I've noticed is that Ai Civs had start unite their units to corpuses and armies more often. In terms of war strategy I cant tell much because I play peacefully at this time. My previous game for Macedon was a complete opposite. But I've noticed that AI units began to retreat wisely. Poundmaker constructed a large set of artillery and used it in sieges. Gorgo used spies against me to recruit rebels on my territory. That was wise. Indonesia built Venetian arsenal and created a poverful armada which one ofcourse was not the most technological fleet at the seas. Poundmaker had the scaryest fleet. Good thing that he was my ally. Gilgamesh also built good fleet. I don't saw epic naval battles but that's because most of the strong civs were allied to each other...and knew how to stay f#ck out of each other. Only Gorgo and Chandragupta was trying to prove something to the strong civs... In any case I could continue to describe this...that was interesting.... In the end Scotland couldn't achieve Mars because Poundmaker and I destroyed all Scottish Cosmoports. In the end I achieved Religious Victory. That was not easy but overall in this game I didn't meet really strong opponent on Religious battlefield. Only two civilizations offered me less decent resistance, but many factors played here. Plus the political situation on the continents. In something I was lucky. But the resistance was rather weak. To conquer these civilizations with the help of brute force would be much more difficult. From other observations, more civilizations began to build wonders. Diplomatic relations between civilizations have become more literate. Less betrayals and surprise attacks. Civilizations have become more willing and more likely to make alliances. But still, in the last era, everything is overshadowed by increased fines of militarism and everyone is again beginning to relate poorly to each other. But that's the basic game mechanic dilemma. I compare all this in relation to AI +...About planes and air fight... Only Gorgo built one Airplane field and started to create planes to attack Arabia. But in that moment I have won the game by Religious victory. None of the civilizations created the Manhattan project and the Ivy project. But maybe it's for the best. At least in the virtual world there will be no nuclear explosions. But seriously, Robert Bruce, Poundmaker or Gorgo could do it in a potential way and they had a lot of time for it. But they did not. During the Civilization 4, nations more readily created nuclear weapons and even used them ... I am wondering what negative consequences from nuclear explosions will be realized in the new addition?
Thank you for reading. May you give me some advices about your mod? If I want play without unfair bonuses should I lower the difficulty? Infixo, you said that you're played and tested Ai+? May you tell me from which difficulty level Ai+ gives the computer the unfair bonuses? On Emperor Ai+ runs fair, but Ai doesn't always plays smart. In your Real Strategy mod I saw interesting difference, and I want to continue playing with your mod but with fair rules for each civilization. I know that you wrote in the mod description about bonuses: you do not consider them unfair, but only acknowledge their necessity. So what is your opinion about game difficulties. Which one is optimal for your mod? And which one for Ai+? I didn't played on Deity level with Ai+. What's the diffirence? Please don't send me to the Ai+ mod author. I want to read your personal opinion about optimal difficulty levels for each of these mods.